Changing gears: Democrats now outnumber Republicans in Wilton
Could the political tide be changing in Wilton?
Considered a GOP stronghold for many years, as of Monday, Jan. 6, there were more registered Democrats in Wilton than Republicans.
According to Wilton’s registrars of voters, as of 2:45 p.m. on Monday, Wilton had a total 12,409 registered voters. Of those, 3,800 were Democrats. There were 3,796 Republicans, four fewer than the Democrats.
In addition, there were 4,686 unaffiliated voters belonging to no party, and 127 registered to minor parties.
Tom Dubin, chair of the Wilton Democratic Town Committee, said Wilton Democrats have crossed the threshold.
“To all the new Democrats in town I would first like to say welcome to the party! We are genuinely thrilled to have you join us and excited about more Wiltonians coming on board to make our town the best it can be,” he said in an email to The Bulletin.
The numbers were quite different 20 years ago.
On Oct. 24, 2000, Wilton had 11,093 registered voters, according to the secretary of state. Of those, 4,950 were Republicans, compared to 2,388 Democrats, with Republicans outnumbering Democrats by 2,562.
But the number of Democrats has been slowly creeping up in the ensuing years.
On Oct. 30, 2007, there were 4,152 Republicans in Wilton, compared to 2,624 Democrats, a difference of 1,528.
On Oct. 24, 2008, the year Barack Obama was elected president, there were 4,350 Republicans in Wilton, compared to 3,181 Democrats, a difference of 1,169.
The gap closed further on Oct. 29, 2019, with 3,806 registered Republicans in Wilton, compared to 3,734 Democrats, a difference of just 72 voters.
Yesterday’s tally now gives Democrats a tiny majority over the Republicans, while Unaffiliated voters still have the edge over both parties.
“This has been a steady, long-term development as local voters determined that the Democratic party more closely aligns with the issues that matter most to them,” said Dubin. “Aversion to Donald Trump is only one factor in this party realignment, as the large majority of this registrations shift occurred before he took office. We recognize that Democrats in Wilton come in many different flavors, and we value the strength of a big tent.”
He concluded, “With today’s milestone, Wilton Democrats will continue to support fiscally responsible candidates who reflect our party’s values locally, statewide, and nationally. We are proud of the work we have accomplished and the future vision we bring.”